Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mangrove Destruction Affecting Fisheries

Mexico City. The fish catch decline with the increase in the destruction of mangroves estimated annual loss of about 800 pounds of shrimp and commercial fish per hectare of these ecosystems destroyed, because the correlation between the extent of the tidal zone (mangrove the tropics) and the amount of catch in the waters adjacent said Francisco Javier Flores Verdugo, specialist in biological oceanography and fisheries.
These areas are of great importance not only for its socio-economic value, but by the ability to maintain high productivity and balance in the lagoon estuarine environments.
Fertilities presented as high as the most efficient domestic crops, in some areas reach capacity to export that adjacent marine waters and in arid regions adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are functionally equivalent to an oasis, added the researcher of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology (ICMyL), Unit Mazatlan, UNAM.
Three quarters of the Earth's surface is covered by water, but 90 percent have fertility similar to that of a desert scrub. Sea fertile regions cover only 10 percent and are located within coastal ecosystems, particularly mangroves.
In fact, he added Flores Verdugo, an estimated total world fisheries, 90 percent is done in coastal regions, and of those, 70 percent are at estuarine organisms, or those who at one period of his life living in these environments.
The benefits of mangrove-estuarine and lagoon ecosystems comprise a variety of goods, services, uses and functions of value to society, flora and fauna, as well as for the maintenance of natural processes, and interact with other marine and terrestrial . For example, there is evidence that destruction causes loss of coral reef structure, detailed the university.
Mangroves are characterized by high production are habitat to support fisheries of the continental shelf, are areas of food, shelter and crustaceans and fry growth and protection of flora and fauna, including species threatened with extinction , endemic and migratory.
Systems also act as natural flood control and erosion, as hurricane protection and saline intrusion, and improve water quality by acting as a biological filter.
They also help to prevent the formation of acid soils, microclimate conditions generate, help maintain natural systems and processes in response to changes in sea level, carbon traps, and retain accretion processes, sedimentation and formation mobs, he said biological oceanographer, whose main research is primary productivity in estuarine and mangrove lagoon systems,
An estimated 60 to 75 percent of the tropical coasts are bordered by mangroves. The extension covering the country is six thousand 600 square kilometers, and ranks sixth in the world.
Have adaptations to soils rich in organic matter (anoxic) and comprise more than 50 species, of which four are widely distributed in Mexico red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) and buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus).
In the country are referred to within the standard 059 of the General Law of Ecological Balance for conservation, with a special category for mangrove protection white, black and buttonwood, and a rare species, the red mangrove.
They are also under a conservation or sustainable use by various standards such as NOM 022 for the conservation of wetlands, he said.

URGENT ALERT! Mangrove International Action Needed for Reversing Brazil's Forest Code

Manifest for Brazilian mangroves
            Recent amendments to Brazilian Forest Code (BFC) threatens the country’s status as the second largest mangrove area in the world (1). Contrary to major scientific advisory (2–18) and public opinion (19), government made legal for shrimp farmers and salt producers to convert tidal wetland ecosystems into ponds. Changes are being encouraged throughout the country considering BFC is a Federal regulation and applies nationally. In the Amazon biome (which comprises the coasts of the States of Amapá, Pará and Maranhão), where 60% of Brazilian mangroves are located(20), 10% of these systems can be converted. Along the rest of the shoreline, 35% can be converted. Additionally, this regulation also assures amnesty to transgressors that occupied these areas until July 22, 2008.
What do mangroves, salt flats and sea level have in common? Contrary to earlier forecasts, sea levels are rising 60% faster than predicted, showing once again that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is far from alarmist, but in fact has under-estimated the problem of climate change (25). Mangroves, salt marshes, salt flats and mud flats are typical elements found in the tidal wetland ecosystems throughout the world. One area may fluctuate between these “states” over space and time depending on sea level oscillations. Evidences on salt flats colonization by mangrove tree species has been continually reported by Scientists worldwide (26–31). In this scenario, salt flats will sustain future mangrove communities.            Assessments made prior to the consolidation of shrimp farming industry in Brazil revealed that the country had already had lost 50,000 ha between the years of 1985 and 2000 due to diverse causes(21). Nevertheless, it is estimated that shrimp farming industry alone is responsible for the conversion of another 50,000 ha of the country’s tidal wetland ecosystems into ponds (22, 23), mainly on salt flats (24).
            Despite the increasing growth rate of shrimp farming in Brazil during the past decade (from 7,000 to 90,000 tonnes per year production), its CO2 emissions — resulting from both land conversion and shrimp production — have not been included in Brazil’s emission statistics (2, 25), thereby underestimating the country’s share in the responsibility of climate change mitigation.
            Salt flat conversions outlined in the BFC could lead to staggering mangrove losses and hugely increase CO2 emissions, considering that these systems possibly store an equivalent to roughly 2.5 times annual global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (26). Considering only shrimp farms that have already been installed in the country, these land conversions correspond to 1.5% of all Brazilian marine wetlands, or only 0.03% of the national territory; however, they alone account for 1% of the total Brazilian yearly CO2 emissions (2, 27).
            Considering Brazil’s mangrove coverage, which makes it a critical player on the mitigation of the CO2 effects and climate change stabilization, we ask for international support to help in reversing this horrible political decision. Join us by exerting any type of pressure, either by divulgating this absurd decision or by writing straight to our government representatives (contact info attached).
            Thank you very much.

"Instituto Bioma Brasil (IBB) and Contributors"
Authors who contributed to this article:
André Rovai (UFSC / IBB)
Paulo Pagliosa (UFSC)
Alessandra Fonseca (UFSC)
Ricardo Menghini (MPSP)
Yara Schaeffer-Novelli (IOUSP / IBB)
Gilberto Cintron-Molero (FWS)
Clemente Coelho-Júnior (UPE / IBB)
Renato almeida (UFRBA / IBB)
Marília Cunha Lignon (UNIFESP / IBB)

Literature cited:
1. M. Spalding, M. Kainuma, L. Collins, World Atlas of Mangroves (Earthscan, London, UK, 2010), p. 319.
2. P. R. Pagliosa, A. S. Rovai, A. L. Fonseca, Carbon mismanagement in Brazil, Nature Climate Change 2, 764–764 (2012).
3. A. S. Rovai, R. P. Menghini, Y. Schaeffer-Novelli, G. Cintrón-Molero, C. Coelho-Jr, Protecting Brazil’s coastal wetlands, Science 335, 1571–1572 (2012).
4. J. P. Metzger et al., Brazilian Law: Full Speed in Reverse?, Science 329, 276–277 (2010).
5. A. G. Nazareno, Call to veto Brazil’s forest-code revisions, Nature 481, 29 (2012).
6. Y. Schaeffer-Novelli, A. S. Rovai, C. Coelho-Jr, R. P. Menghini, R. Almeida, in Código Florestal e a Ciência: o que nossos legisladores ainda precisam saber, (Comitê Brasil em Defesa das Florestas e do Desenvolvimento Sustentável, Brasília DF, 2012), pp. 18–27.
7. F. Michalski, D. Norris, C. A. Peres, No Return from Biodiversity Loss, Science 329, 1282 (2010).
8. F. R. Silva, V. H. M. Prado, D. C. Rosa-Feres, Value of Small Forest Fragments to Amphibians, Science 332, 1033–1033 (2011).
9. L. F. Toledo, S. P. Carvalho-e-Silva, C. Sánchez, M. A. Almeida, C. F. B. Haddad, The review of the Brazilian Forest Act: harmful effects on amphibian conservation, Biota Neotropica 10, 35–38 (2010).
10. L. Cassati, Changes in the Brazilian Forest Code: potential impacts on the ichthyofauna, Biota Neotropica 10, 31–34 (2010).
11. P. F. Develey, T. Pongiluppi, Potential impacts of the changes proposed in the Brazilian Forest Code on birds, Biota Neotropica 10, 43–46 (2010).
12. A. V. L. Freitas, Potential impacts of the proposed Brazilian Forest Act on native butterflie, Biota Neotropica 10, 53–58 (2010).
13. V. L. Imperatriz-Fonseca, P. Nunes-Silva, Bees, ecosystem services and the Brazilian Forest Code, Biota Neotropica 10, 59–62 (2010).
14. J. G. Tundisi, T. M. Tundisi, Potencial impacts of changes in the Forest Law in relation to water resources, Biota Neotropica 10, 67–76 (2010).
15. K. T. Ribeiro, L. Freitas, Potential impacts of changes to Brazilian Forest Code in campos rupestres and campos de altitude, Biota 10, 239–246 (2010).
16. O. A. V. Marques, C. Nogueira, M. Martins, R. J. Sawaya, Potential impacts of changes in the Brazilian Forest Code on reptiles, Biota Neotropica 10, 39–42 (2010).
17. M. Galleti et al., Forest legislative changes and their impacts on mammal ecology and diversity in Brazil, Biota Neotropica 10, 47–52 (2010).
18. P. H. S. Brancalion, R. R. Rodrigues, Agricultural land reduction due to the compliance with the current Forest Code: a study case of sugarcane production in the State of São Paulo, Biota Neotropica 10, 63–66 (2010).
19. Datafolha, What Brazilians think about the “new” Forest Law proposal, (Brasília, 2011;
20. P. W. M. Souza-Filho, Costa de manguezais de macromaré da Amazônia: cenários morfológicos, mapeamento e quantificação de áreas usando dados de sensores remotos, Revista Brasileira de Geofísica 23, 427–435 (2005).
21. FAO, The world’s mangroves 1980-2005 (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, Rome, 2007), p. 77.
22. G. A. Daldegan, M. Matsumoto, A. Chatwin, in XIII Simpósio Brasileiro de Sensoriamento Remoto, (INPE, Florianópolis, SC, 2007), pp. 851–857.
23. MMA, Panorama da conservação dos ecossistemas costeiros e marinhos no Brasil A. P. L. . Prates, M. A. Gonçalves, M. R. Rosa, Eds. (MMA/SBF/GBA, Brasília DF, ed. 1st, 2010), p. 148.
24. A. G. Zitello, thesis, Duke University (2007).
25. M. S. Copertino, Add coastal vegetation to the climate critical list, Nature 473, 255 (2011).
26. J. Siikamäki, J. N. Sanchirico, S. L. Jardine, Global economic potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from mangrove loss., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109, 14369–74 (2012).
27. MCT, Segunda comunicação nacional do Brasil à Convenção-Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre mudança do clima (Brasília, 2010;, p. 280.
Info about Presidency of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff

Palácio do Planalto
Praça dos Três Poderes, Palácio do Planalto, Anexo I, Ala B, sala 107
Cep: 70150900

+55  61  3411.1200
+55  61  3411.1201

+55  61  3411.2222


Electronic messages can also be sent at:

Sample Letter:

President of Brasil                                                                                      January 16,2013
Dilma Rousseff
Palácio do Planalto
Praça dos Três Poderes, Palácio do Planalto, Anexo I, Ala B, sala 107
Cep: 70150900

Dear Honorable President Rousseff,

I wish to draw your attention to a dangerous revision to your country’s coastal regulations that are troubling me now. Recent amendments to Brazilian Forest Code (BFC) threaten your country’s mangrove forests and will, if implemented, adversely affect the status of Brazil as the second largest mangrove area in the world. Because of this ill-conceived amendment, I am very concerned for the future of all of Brazil’s coastal wetlands, including the mangroves and their associated inter-tidal wetland areas- the mud flats and salt flats, sea grass beds and coral reefs.

Assessments made prior to the consolidation of shrimp farming industry in Brazil revealed that the country had already lost 50,000 ha between the years of 1985 and 2000 due to diverse causes. Nevertheless, it is estimated that shrimp farming industry alone is responsible for the conversion of another 50,000 ha of the country’s tidal wetland ecosystems into ponds, mainly on salt flats, which will be the last refuge for the mangroves to colonize as the sea level rises as is now occurring at a much moré rapid rate than earlier predicted. Loss of these intertidal areas to expanding shrimp farm development will mean loss of future mangroves that would otherwise have colonized those same sites.

For the sake of combating climate change and restoring your country’s coastal wetlands and wild fisheries, I ask that you please reconsider this troubling amendment and act now to reverse this earlier decision.

For the Mangroves And the Mangrove Communities!

Alfredo Quarto,
Executive Director
Mangrove Action Project

MAP staff joins the Livelihoods Camp in India

 Jaruwan (Ning) Enright, MAP-Asia

I as a MAP-Thailand’s Field Project Manager was selected to attend a three days event called the “Livelihood Network Camp 2012 (2nd Edition) 8-10th October 2012: “learning by doing” at Araku, Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.  There were 140 participants which came from from 21 countries and 65 organizations, including private companies and NGOs.  I was the only participant from Thailand.

The objective of the Livelihood Network Camp was to share experience and knowledge and explore innovative solutions and know-how in order to support efficiency and sustainability for the implementing projects in the Araku valley of Naandi Foundation and in other parts of the world.

Photo 1 Ning in the middle of the Livelihood Camp participants.


The camp was help in the Araku valley, where the tribal people are now growing fair-trade organic coffee supported by Naandi Foundation, a local Indian NGO which is playing an important role helping the farmers with training in sustainable agricultural practices, setting up a state-of-art coffee processing unit and formation of a Small and Marginal Tribal Farmers Mutually Aided Co-operative Society (SAMTFMACS) with a connection to the international market.  There were 6 sub-workshops during the camp. 

Photo 2: Ning joined the “Fruit for the hard work”

I participated of the group work on “Fruit for the hard work” to discuss about “Access to Marketswhich is part of a carbon credit project.  After the full day field visit to a very beautiful tribal village where they grow organic mangoes and coffee our group tired to evaluate the most appropriate value chain from local markets to global markets, identifying and creating added value and product
differentiation for the communities involved. Our task was  to provide recommendations to Naandi Foundation on how they could adjust from a pilot action to large-scale implementation.



The project being implemented at Araku is one of the projects supported by Livelihoods, an organization based in Paris supported by donors in France as well as a well as the worldwide dairy product company, Danone . There are 3 programs including Livelihoods Fund, Livelihoods Venture and Livelihoods Network.   Under the Livelihood Fund programme there are three mangrove restoration projects funded in different regions of the world. They are being implemented by Nature Environment & Wildlife Society    (NEWS) in the Sunderbans-India, Casamance in Senegal and Yagasu in Indonesia.  I had the opportunity to present a poster on MAP’s work and shared the Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) approach with the other NGOs representatives who are working on mangrove restoration mentioned above.


Photo 3: Ning’s poster presentation session regarding MAP’s Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) and Livelihoods activities in Thailand.